Vernon Davis puts a real threat in deep threat

This is my Wednesday column on Vernon Davis.

SANTA CLARA – Vernon Davis has the 49ers in a helpless position, like a turtle trapped on its back.

Davis can stay away and let the turtle squirm – miss mini-camps and training camp, hurt the offense and make the 49ers look bad – or he can flip the turtle over. It’s up to Davis.

He’s watching the turtle flail its little legs right now while the sun sizzles its stomach. Davis didn’t attend the 49ers’ OTAs, forfeited a $200,000 bonus not to go to them. Before he does any flipping, he wants a contract extension.

Does he deserve one?

You can make an argument he does not: He still has two years left on his current deal. He will earn $9 million total in base salary the next two seasons. He will be 32 when his contract expires. He is not a good route runner or a true factor in the red zone. He never has been coached up to develop the skills of a true Pro Bowl tight end. Brent Jones or Raymond Chester or David Casper would have taken Davis to school.

Davis wasted so much talent.

And yet, he still is one of the most athletic players in the NFL. And he is the most important player on the 49ers’ offense right now – more important than Anquan Boldin or Frank Gore or Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers absolutely need Davis to win the Super Bowl next season.

Davis makes the 49ers’ entire offense work. The Niners’ offense is so much easier to defend when he is not part of it. He’s the only deep threat the Niners have, the only fast receiver on the team. The hare on a team full of turtles.

If he’s not on the field, defensive backs have no fear of getting beaten deep so they can move closer to the line of scrimmage and take away the 49ers’ running game. They also can squat on the 49ers’ short and intermediate routes and take those away, too. Complete congestion. Davis’ speed opens up everything.

Davis wasn’t always this essential to the 49ers’ offense. Two seasons ago, the Niners had other fast players – Delanie Walker and Randy Moss. But those players are gone, replaced by Stevie Johnson and Anquan Boldin – a couple of turtles.

Last season, Davis was so essential that Kaepernick had a 117 passer rating when targeting him. That’s a better rating than Drew Brees had targeting Jimmy Graham last season, and a better rating than Peyton Manning had targeting Wes Welker. Including the playoffs, the 49ers were 13-1 in games that Davis caught a touchdown pass last season, and 2-4 in games when he didn’t catch a touchdown pass.

It was painful to watch the 49ers’ passing game without Vernon Davis during Tuesday afternoon’s OTA. During last year’s OTAs, Davis was good for at least one touchdown per practice. Sometimes he caught three or four TD passes. It didn’t matter who was covering him, Kaepernick would fire the ball deep and Davis would catch it. Easy.

Without Davis on Tuesday, the 49ers didn’t complete a single deep pass. They sure tried, though. Kaepernick threw a deep one to Davis’ backup, Vance McDonald, who dropped it. Let it fall right through his hands. Last season, his rookie season, he caught just nine passes and dropped three. He may improve and become a better, more skillful tight end than Davis one day. But that day won’t be any day soon.

After Tuesday’s practice, Harbaugh tried to explain to the media why the passing game struggled in practice. “Just wasn’t clicking as much today. At the end of practice it picked up a bit, but it was a better day for the defense. I thought our linebackers made some real good plays in the underneath coverage. Corners were breaking on balls, got hands on balls. Same with the safeties, they’re doing a good job anticipating and covering a lot of ground back there. Real pleased from that standpoint.”

Translation: “I’ve got to praise someone.”

When asked how important Davis is to the team, Harbaugh said, “Uh, important. Very important.” And then he laughed.

The 49ers transformed into a turtle at Davis’ mercy the moment they renegotiated Kaepernick’s contract last week. Regardless of how team-friendly Kaepernick’s extension was, the 49ers did it, and it created a precedent. Now, the front office has to deal with the fallout from other players, including but not limited to Davis. All players want more money now and more years tacked onto their contract. If Kaepernick had a case for an extension, Davis has a better case. And the 49ers can’t risk Davis holding out from mini-camps and training camp.

Pay up, turtle.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

This article has 125 Comments

      1. That’s a silly thing to say. That’s like saying, take away all those broken tackles and Frank Gore is a bus driver.

      2. LOL. What does that mean ? He is a great TE that is why he scored 13 TDs. Did you know, that was 62% of all our passing TDs and more than the production of ALL our WRs COMBINED ??!! Anquan, the 2nd highest TD scorer only had 7 TDs, just over half of what Vernon had.

    1. @Leo


      It’s easy for Grant to say “Pay Up!”

      It’s not his money or Team. And I find that to be Ignorant, as an Organization you CANNOT set a Bad Precedent by tearing up or extending player’s contracts when there’s 2 years left. I don’t care if you’re Frickin’ Joe Montana!

      You start doing that as an Organization then the message is clear, ANY player will expect their contract to be re-done with 2 years left.

      It’s Bad Business. Plain & Simple.

  1. Yep. Let’s see, its June 11th and Vernon is missing practices. Clearly, the Niners are f88888 for the 2014 season. Disaster. Panic time. Time to insult everyone you can think of. Armageddon. Put your money on the Cowboys fellas, the Niners are doomed.

  2. Grant, this article is an example of a really good side point that is blown up into an exaggerating issue. Your side point that the loss of Moss and Walker were greater than anyone predicted is correct. I also agree Vernon was our only legitimate deep threat in 2013.

    That aside, your argument assumes this will hold true in 2014 and I say not so fast. Training camp hasn’t happened yet and the pads aren’t on. We know Crabtree is capable of being an occasional deep threat due to route running and underrated speed when healthy. We saw him do it at times in 2011 and 2012. McDonald and Carrier both look like athletes who can use their speed to get deep. Ditto on Bruce Ellington. Let’s see how they develop in training camp before declaring VD as the sole survivor.

    Part of the logical flaw in this article is conflating loss of VD’s skillset with the general passing game malaise in 2013 due to lack of depth of quality targets across the board and across the field. VD was one important variable in 2013 partly because of his unique skillset, and partly because there was no one else outside of Boldin. The other major variables were losing Moss and Walker and Ted Ginn in FA, Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham never regaining their pre injury explosiveness and being functionally useless, and Crabtree being out most of the year. If one compares the overall utility and depth of targets of the 2012 offense to the options available to Colin as a whole for most of 2013, it’s pretty stark.

    Just my $.02

  3. You are always good for some strange point of reference Grant, I’ll give you that.

    Davis doesn’t have a case and has no leverage either. Unlike Kap, he’s already been paid big money and also has two years remaining on his deal, not one.

    Davis will return eventually because you can’t improve your stock or make your brand without a paycheck.

    As to the poor passing performance yesterday, I’d guess the fact the top 4 WRs were not taking part may have had a little something to do with it.

      1. The 49ers have more leverage than Davis on this one, given he still has 2 years left on his contract and is paid well. But to me an extension for an extra couple of years would make some sense. I wouldn’t look to pay him more per season per se, but just extend it out a couple of years. Keep him at the club until he’s about 34.

        They’d probably want to make the extension years a bunch of one year type deals, and maybe add some escalators/ de-escalators in case he declines with age.

        1. I fully agree Scooter.

          Rocket may be right about the lack of leverage for Vernon, but I think the niners really like him as a player and recognize his value. And just to make him happy will extend him with likely the same amount of salary per year.

          And knowing Baalke and Paraag they will somehow restructure this year and clear some more cap room. I’m not sure if this is possible but it wouldn’t surprise me.

        2. Vernon Davis has more leverage. The 49ers are all in to win the Super Bowl next season and they can’t do it without Davis.

          1. Missing TC and the season would cost Davis too much. Not going to happen. If he decides to skip mandatory sessions, we’ll see how quickly he changes his tune when they start fining him. And it isn’t in his financial interest to dog it this year either. At 30 years of age a down season won’t be looked at favourably when it comes to potential contracts by any team in the NFL.

              1. “How’s VD’s production on 3rd downs?”

                20 receptions, 257 yards, 4 TD’s

                1st Down:
                18 receptions, 413 yards 6TD’s

                2nd Down:
                14 receptions, 180 yards 3 TD’s

          2. I get what you’re saying Grant but I don’t think you’re right. The 49ers have enough leverage to get Vernon to come back. They can push through the beginning of the season without him and play chicken(of course you don’t want to, but we can definitely do it and be fine).

            Vernon will be fined every day he holds out of training camp & mandatory mini-camp and will lose a ton of money by missing out on games during the season. He will fold and call chicken before the 49ers do. I guarantee it. Any extension would be team friendly at this point since he would be 32.

      2. He doesn’t have leverage. He’s 30 years old and under contract for two more years. He’s currently the third highest paid TE in the NFL, he isn’t underpaid. He also owes 10% of all future football related earnings to Fantex. By not participating in OTA’s, he has already cost his stock holders $20k. The Niners know that. Jones or Casper wouldn’t make a difference. Davis has an incredible work ethic, but he has always had limitations with his game. He is an exceptional athlete, but not a fluid one. Kaepernick’s extension was in line with how the Niners do business. Renegotiating Davis’ contract with two years remaining on a deal that still ranks him in the top three of TE compensation is not.

        1. Hasn’t the stock price gone up since he’s been skipping OTAs? Its generated interest in the stock, which I’m sure was one of the main reasons for skipping them – raise brand awareness. And the lost dividends for stock holders from skipping OTAs are a small price to pay if it means the stock’s price goes up, doubly so if Davis is then able to secure a long term extension.

          1. Maybe it has generated interest, I don’t pay attention. Davis received $4 million for 10% of future football earnings. Davis would have to TAKE HOME $35 million (after his current contract) in football related earnings in order for the Fantex IPO investors just to break even on their investment. $35 million after age 32? Good luck getting a dividend. He has already lost $20k in real money for his investors by ditching OTA’s, which is small, but real money. The Niners signed Davis to his big deal. He got paid and is still in the top three of TE compensation. The Niners don’t, and shouldn’t care about his brand. They have taken care of him and their brand. The whole brand thing is annoying. Man up and say you want more cheddar, it’s less convoluted.

            1. Dividends should be easy to come by. There are no real ongoing costs when it comes to contract payments – Davis the football player isn’t a business with operational expenses – so everything Davis earns from his contracts is effectively profit, ergo a dividend.

              I agree the 49ers shouldn’t (and aren’t) caring about Davis’ brand. But Davis now has an obligation to holders of stock in his brand to seek out the best return he can. Annoying? Sure, but that is the reality.

              “Spending” $200K to generate interest in your brand makes some sense. By generating interest he opens the door for plenty of alternative future opportunities outside of his contract with the 49ers – it isn’t just stock holders that he’s marketing himself to, also potential business partners.

              1. I get what you’re saying, but he has been building his brand for years, it’s just his favorite buzzword right now because his investors now get 10% of his income. The chances of the investors ever breaking even is slim and Davis can’t build his brand without playing. At the end of the day, he lost $180k and likely won’t ever be able to make it back. I agree with your general business/promoting points, I just don’t see Davis as a wise investment as a stock at this point of his career. I don’t see any football player as a wise investment due to their non-guaranteed contracts and the injury risk of the sport. It seems like a scheme to take advantage of jock sniffers.

              2. I fully agree it’s a bad investment. I think the whole idea of holding stocks in a football player is silly.

                The main thing I’m worried about though is Vernon has done well the past few years to restrain himself from being selfish, complaining about not getting the ball enough. Now he has a corporate interest in putting up big numbers, and an excuse for saying he’s not being selfish, he’s looking after his investors. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

      3. Two years left on a contract says he doesn’t. The team isn’t going to set a precedent by redoing a deal with two years left on it unless it’s an extension that helps the cap and pays him less on the backend.

        Davis is important to the offense but they have options with the WRs they have.

        This is all pointless anyway because there is no way he’ll sit out and miss pay checks

        1. Kaepernick and Staley and Gore are three players that are more important to the offense in my mind than VD…..

      4. Grant, I will argue that the most important player on offense other then CK is Crabtree. That’s the player the focus should go to on an extension. This offense changed completely when he returned from his injury. He has to be the number 1 priority right now. The way the niners drafted also is a sign that they prefer to do an extension with crab instead of iupati. Wrs for us that can make a difference are hard to come by.. Balke get it done!

        1. The passing offense improved by an average of 29 yards per game when Crabtree came back. Up to 202 yards/game from 173.

  4. Um… Not really
    If at 30 and with 2 years left on his contract Davis decides to sit out that will be to his own detriment. He can choose to hold out 10 games this year and 10 games the following year but that would only diminish what he would then get on the open market as a 32yr old disgruntled player who only played 12 games in 2 years and likely put up poor numbers (unless you believe that VD can miss 2 camps and the first 10 weeks and not miss a beat). Not to mention the prececdent just set by Kaep that says “money is not everything” and the importance of the team, especially one thats competing for the SB every year. And lastly its not like VD is underpaid. He is the 3rd highest paid TE in the league. He is roughly the 3rd best TE in the league behind gronk and graham. I understand boone holding out (although with 2 years left he should have waited until next year) but VD is more than adequatly compensated.

    Here is what I believe: THIS IS ALL A SHARADE FOR FANTEX INVESTORS. As we all know VD sold a 10% share of his future earnings to stock investors at a price of $4 Million now. The only way this doesnt work out well for VD is if his future earnings are more than $40 million (since he ows 1/10 of his contract to investors a $40 mil contract would mean he has to pay 4 million, which he already got up front) IMO there is no way that he ever sniffs $40 million for the rest of his athletic career. so whatever number he has to pay the investors he already got more (4 mil) up front at the IPO.
    But in order to appear to investors like he is pulling out all the stops to get a huge contract (and therefore dividens for the investors) he puffs out his chest pays a 200k pittance and “skips” voluntary workouts with nothing at stake. I fully expect him to be here for the mandatory OTA’s and to play during the season. He has too much to lose if he doesnt

  5. – 2006. Vernon signed a five-year, $23M rookie contract. Vernon was the highest paid tight end in 2006.

    – 2010. Vernon got a five-year contract extension for $37M, $23M guaranteed. He was the highest paid tight end in 2010.

    The 2010 contract was “player friendly”, front loaded with a $10M signing bonus. This is why his 2014 is a “low” $5M. Poor Vernon is ONLY the 3rd highest paid TE (though he still likely has the biggest bank account).

    Vernon’s nuts. He’s been paid already.

  6. Rocket, clearly there are signs pointing to the end of days. Armageddon is upon us. The sun is going dark and it’s raining turtles! There have been no improvements to the passing game and there is an ominous absence of hares on the field. In fact, the Niners are now hare-less. t appears all hope is lost because Vernon’s decided not to show up for voluntary OTA’s.

    1. Bar None,

      Yeah we’re doomed.

      Davis should be here and acting like a leader instead of a petulant child, but it’s not going to affect the offence if he’s not practicing in June. He’s not going to miss checks trying to get a new deal. Nothing more to see here.

  7. I thought Stevie Johnson was signed to BE
    the red-zone threat .. am I missing something here ?

    Hey .. Vernon … my man …
    luv ya, dude .. but …GET BACK TO WORK !!

    (oh.. I miss the dreads)

  8. Wow Grant! How could I have been so stupid and not recognized the reality that was staring the 49er franchise right in the face. It never even occurred to me how important Davis actually was to the 49er’s. How could they have been so stupid as to have wasted all that money resigning Kap. Those resources should have been used to lock up the 49er’s future by extending Davis because it is so obvious that he is even more important to them than a franchise QB. But thanks to you, it’s still not too late to correct their mistake.

    It’s all so simple. Davis contract runs out in two years, which is about the time that Kaps guaranteed money has already all been utilized on his contract. Being that Davis is more important than Kap to the team, they should just release Kap and apply the remainder of Kap’s contract to Davis. Therefore they lock up their most important player up until 2020. But naturally they couldn’t expect a player of Davis’s caliber to accept the de-escalators and year by year aspects of the contract so they would have to guarantee the entire amount.

    I am so glad that you recognized that franchise destroying error the front office was about to commit before it was too late for them to correct it.

  9. So much being made about a guy missing voluntary OTA’s. This story really holds no water until next week.

    1. That was funny. Sarah’s serious tone in the beginning made the little swerve into “dad pants” funnier. Thanks for sharing that.

  10. Get ready for more articles breaking down other tempests in a teapot. Real stories are going to be even more scarce between mini camp and training camp. Yikes.

  11. Grant, why do you do this crap to yourself? Why do you constantly take cheap shots at the coaching staff?

    “He never has been coached up to develop the skills of a true Pro Bowl tight end.”

    This comment is a total cheap shot at TE coach Reggie Davis. You are saying Reggie Davis did not or could not do his job to maximize Vernon Davis’s talent and his contribution on the field. Vernon caught 160 passes for 2,190 yards and 24 touchdowns in 47 regular-season games under Reggie Davis. Vernon had another 27 receptions for 600 yards and seven touchdowns in eight postseason games. I would say those numbers and the pro bowl appearances are a pretty damn good result for any TE in the NFL.

    I’m not saying Vernon Davis has maximized his potential. I am saying that your insinuation that he hasn’t been coached to maximize his potential seems like a continuation of your unfounded assaults on the coaching staff.

    1. Houston
      You don’t really think Grant will change do you? Steady diet of that stuff from the guy who this time last year:
      >was calling the Boldin acquisition minimal because Boldin is a turtle, ahem,
      >that Wilson would QB the RayDuhs
      >and that the Cowboys were major SB Contenders
      Sheesh, lower your expectations, amigo

  12. Grant,

    Davis doesn’t have any leverage at all. If he holds out his career will be over. Or at the very best he won’t make as much money as he would if he just honored his existing contract.

    The 49ers are not going to over pay for anyone. They don’t think like you do. They think that no one player is so important the team can’t do without him.

  13. Two players caught more than 9 TD passes and averaged more than 16 yards per catch last season: Calvin Johnson and Vernon Davis.

          1. Again, in college. And he’s ona team where he will most likely be the fifth or sixth WR on the depth chart. That makes his production in the SEC a moot point.

            1. Production is what got him drafted, and therefore is not moot. He’s quick and fast and can take the top off the defense. When Johnson or Boldin need a breather, Ellington will get his opportunity to showcase what he can do….

              1. Ellington has the speed of a possession receiver and has Crabtree, Boldin, Johnson, Lloyd, Patton, and perhaps even Baldwin ahead of him on the depth chart, so his production in college is a moot point unless he is able jump ahead of at least four of those guys on the WR depth chart, and I don’t see that happening unless the unit is devastated by injuries.

              2. MWD, you are the only analyst that I am aware of that has categorized Ellington with possession receiver speed. Here is one of many that refute your analysis:

                Baldwin will not make this team, and no one has to be leaped or devastated with injury. Maybe Boldin needs a breather and Ellington goes and mans the slot for a play or two. Several ways for Roman to get him involved, and because he can take the top off of defenses, the more success he has throughout training camp and so forth will determine how many opportunities he’s afforded…..

              3. I’ve seen the reports and could care less. Ellington is game fast, but he’s not fast.

                Baldwin will not make this team, and no one has to be leaped or devastated with injury. Maybe Boldin needs a breather and Ellington goes and mans the slot for a play or two.

                I agree on Baldwin (which is why I said perhaps) but not on the rest. Behind Johnson is Lloyd and Patton, so both will have to be leapfrogged, all three starting WRs needing a rest, or several injuries in order for Ellington to get on the field.

                Several ways for Roman to get him involved, and because he can take the top off of defenses, the more success he has throughout training camp and so forth will determine how many opportunities he’s afforded…..

                I don’t see a way that Ellington could be used, especially considering the depth at WR and RB. His only chance to make a name for himself is as a returner. He may have stretched defenses in college, but it remains to be seen what he can do a strong NFL defense.

              4. Game fast??

                So what does that mean… he’s fast in the game but his 40 time sucks???

                Seriously I have seen anyone except you describe his speed and possession receiver-type speed.

              5. In other words he plays fast, which is something that we already have on the team in Crabtree and Johnson. We don’t have anybody in the WR corps that can leave a defender eating his dust.

    1. If your team’s TE does not require coverage from the opponent’s S/S, the opposition can double cover the two wide receivers and cover the TE with LBers in regular defensive packages. Who from the Niners, other than Davis, can demand that type of coverage? The lone bonus is if the opposition plays a two-deep concept if Davis is not in the line-up, the opposition only has 7 in the box, so the Niners consistently should be able to run the ball.

  14. An okay article Grant. I agree that the Niners need his deep threat ability in order to win the Super Bowl, but I don’t think Davis should be paid more or extended at the moment or at least until he can prove that he can’t be shut down by a strong defense like the Seahawks and show that his below average blocking last season isn’t a sign of things to come.

  15. If he keeps missing and doesn’t want to show up when the team eyes are on the Super Bowl and his are on money I say trade him. How hard is it to find someone to run deep fast. Not like he does much besides his blocking which is good. But when he isn’t about the team, why should we keep someone who isn’t going to put the work in when they’ve been paid already. This man was a joke from the beginning and it’s showing again! Get singletary on him seriously. Haha

  16. “How hard is it to find someone to run deep fast. Not like he does much besides his blocking which is good.”
    Not like he does much? He had 13 touchdowns for the 49ers last season, and he’s accomplished that feat twice! SMH.

  17. I disagree that signing Kap to a new contract set a precedent. He was headed into the last year of a Rookie Contract he had clearly out performed……………Davis is the #3 paid TE in the NFL……………two distinctly different situations.

    1. Yep, Grant’s still all whiny and butt hurt because the Niner’s did what he (and several blog regulars) were/was preaching they shouldn’t do; sign Kap to a new contract this year.
      Kap and VD’s situations are like apples and oranges though. Signing Kap now has/had no bearing on the BS Vernon’s trying to pull off. I think Vernon’s been getting crappy advice from his agent and/or the people behind his whole branding -IPO deal. They and probably he, think his value is at it’s peak right now, before the Niner’s newly awesome wide receiver pool has a chance to siphon off a big chunk of VD’s season touchdown totals, and they’re right. There’s slim chance VD has double digit TD totals again so his negotiating power is never going to be higher than it is right now. I think the FO should offer an extension now, but with zero change from his current deal in the first two seasons and then completely incentive driven over the next two years, similar to Kap’s de-escalators. I think that would be a win/win for both sides, except that VD is forcing the issue which doesn’t set a good precedent.

  18. Missing OTAs is soley about improving his BRAND – as VD himself said.
    A. It keeps him in the news
    B. It keeps the news saying how great and indispensable he is.
    C. When he returns – he will get more press, and also be the “good guy” for doing what he is supposed to do and play for his contract amount! lol

    BRAND $ increase beats out his $200,000 work out bonus he gave up missing OTAs. This much press would cost more than $200k :)

  19. Grant you get off on finding any way to criticize the 49ers and try so hard to make it seem like the sky is falling.

    Vernon will be playing for us this year. Can’t you find something else to write about? Like maybe how awesome you think Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are?

    1. Grant is still new at this, so he doesn’t realize when he’s gone to the well one time too many.

      You bring up a good point Matt. A good article to write would be one about the Seahawks. See I believe that Russel Wilson is receiving too much credit and Marshawn Lynch isn’t receiving enough.

      Look at down the stretch Russel Wilson was held to 108 yards passing. Even by Alex Smith standards that is pathetic. He completed 40% of his passes that game. Was it an anomaly? No. Two games later in an important playoff game played at home, Wilson threw for 103 yards. They were in danger of losing that game except Lynch went all beast mode on the Saints and carried the team to a win.

      This is a relevant story because it seems like Marshawn is about to hold out for more money. IMO it is Marshawn that is the engine that makes that offense go. Without him they not only don’t beat SF, they can’t beat SF.

        1. I agree razor…it takes about 17 people to bring down Lynch…it will only take 1 for Michael or Turbin. I’ll take them over Lynch any day.

          Without those effective runs the Hawks do not score enough to beat us and are stuck in 3rd and longs all day.

      1. if you belittle alex smith standards then what standards did the guy who choked vs seattle set? smith threw for more yards tds and had a higher completion % than the guy who choked, with a lesser talented team

        1. Mark here is reality, Smith had more yards and a higher completion percentage. It’s easier to complete those 6 yard passes big guy. Also Smith threw for more yards. Not many, but more. HE SHOULD HAVE. He had 100 more attempts.

          As for choked, who really choked? The guy who was one pass away from a super bowl repeat or the guy who finished the season 2-4 and was one and done in the playoffs?

          1. Mark, The Alex comparisons are old and tired. I can’t believe there are fools out there that still think the 49ers would be better off with Smith at QB, and that still want to compare Smith and Kap. When will you donkeys let it go?

            1. you know what–I don’t bring up the comparisons between smith and kaepernick unless some one takes a snot at smith here—take it up with them as to why the comparisons are being made—and I only reply with facts–like the fact that kaepernick did turn the ball over 3 times in the 4th quarter of the seattle game, and that smith did have more tds, yards and a higher completion % than kaepernick–those are facts, not petty attacks

          2. Man, it never gets old watching someone who is defensive about being proven wrong on Alex Smith continue to make the same mistakes while arguing pointlessly about Alex Smith.

          3. guy with the chance to win it and turns ball over 3 times is the biggest choker—smith was throwing to bowe avery and fasano…kaepernick to boldin crabtree and davis—

  20. 49ers indicated they wanted to, “open up” the offense this year. What do you expect to see more of and who will benefit most?
    Bill Williamson (2:28 PM)

    Lots of RBs and WRs.Ellington.

    Rj (MA) [via mobile]

    Which receiver is most likely to make an impact this year…Patton or Ellington?
    Bill Williamson (2:02 PM)

    Why not both? I really like Patton. He can help and Ellington fills a role as a field stretcher.

    1. Patton may be the reason we didn’t trade up for a WR this year. Patton may be the quiet before the storm. I like him a lot. He’s feisty……

      1. Agreed, which is one of the reasons why I don’t see Ellington being able to make any contributions to the offense… for at least a year anyway.

      2. Got to stay healthy, but Ellington brings a whole different skill set than Patton. Patton looks real good with the ball in his hands…..

        1. I’m definitely going to be barracking for Patton to beat out Lloyd and Johnson for the #3 WR spot. Odds are stacked against him, but he’s got talent and I love his attitude. Going to be a fun WR battle if they all stay healthy through training camp.

        2. I had mentioned the healthy part earlier Razor. And normally I would would agree on a skill set being a difference maker, but I don’t think will be as crucial this year given the depth at the receiver position.

        1. It got some commentors fired up too. Guy misses a few non-mandatory practices and he’s no longer a leader or some want to trade him. Good stuff.

  21. Brandon Flowers is on the market. He had a so so year for KC based on PPF grades, but he made the Pro Bowl and I think it would be awesome to have him compete for a starting CB position on the 49ers. I still feel like corner is the only area of weakness going into the 2014 season. If he can play like some of his previous seasons he could be the necessary link to another Lombardi trophy.

    1. Brock, Cook, Culliver, Ward, Wright, Cox, Morris, Johnson, Acker. Do we really need another guy added to the competition?

      I think the 49ers are covered at CB. The only reason to get someone in would be if a bonafide top quality CB became available. Flowers has been a pro bowler, but he’s coming off a down year and as claude said he doesn’t really fit the profile of the type of nickel back the 49ers prefer. They nickel has to have the size/ ability to play in tight against the run, almost like an extra safety.

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